A bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon is a timeless classic for any occasion. The grape on one of the boldest varieties out there and has long been responsible for some of the world’s most talked-about and expensive wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon is also the most grown grape variety in the world. It has spread throughout the world and is grown in an array of different climates and soil types.
It is planted on a total of 840,000 acres in the world, just over 5% of the world’s vineyard surface, according to this article.
The grape was born in Bordeaux where it has probably existed since the 18th century. There are 67,000 acres in Bordeaux, mainly in the Médoc and in Graves. France has a total of 126,000 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, making it the fourth most planted red grape in the country.
Other regions in France also benefit from the grape’s popularity. In the Languedoc, it is grown on 41,000 acres and produces wines of varying style and quality. There is also a little in the western part of Provence where Cabernet Sauvignon is allowed in Coteaux d’Aix en Provence and Les Baux en Provence.
The fact that Cabernet Sauvignon has become the favourite of so many wine producers is partly due to the fact that they are inspired by the greatness of Bordeaux. A high-quality Bordeaux has the ability to age in the bottle for a long time. Being able to mature gracefully is by some considered (for better or worse) the very essence of noble wine.
It also helps that the grape is relatively easy to grow and not so fussy. It does well in both warm and cool climates. But not too cool. Notes of green pepper can develop in cool climates which are rarely popular among wine drinkers.
The big Cabernet country after France is California. There are a little over 100,000 acres planted in the United States. It is the most planted red grape in the country and in total it is in second place after Chardonnay. Some of the world’s most expensive and most prestigious Cabernet Sauvignon wines come from California. The style is often opulent, with generous fruit but still with good structure. Here the grape often performs in splendid isolation.
Chile is the country with the largest share of its vineyard surface planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, an impressive 20%. In Australia, the grape is in second place after Shiraz with which it is sometimes blended. Cabernet is also a popular grape in Argentina and South Africa. In China it is the most planted grape for making wine. In Spain and Italy, Cabernet Sauvignon, although much less planted than local grapes, is responsible for some very top-quality wines.
Looking at the stats, the world is not yet tired of Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, the grape and its populatiry is still on the rise.